U.S. Ships Military Assistance to Lebanese Armyإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
A shipment of weapons, ammunition, and equipment was delivered by the United States to the Lebanese army on Friday.
The assistance arrived at the Rafik Hariri International Airport and will be aimed at aiding the army in its combat of terrorism.
U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale said on the occasion: “Support for the Lebanese army and other security services is a top priority for the U.S.”
“Lebanon asks, and America delivers,” he said.
“On August 2, extremists attacked the northeastern border town of Arsal and on August 3, I met with (Army chief) General Jean Qahwaji and asked what the U.S. could do to help,” he explained.
The U.S. moved quickly to supply the army with weapons and ammunition it asked for to secure Lebanon's borders and defeat extremists that threaten the country's security.
“Two weeks ago, I informed Premier Tammam Salam and Defense Minister Samir Moqbel that the American response would begin within weeks. And we kept that promise. This is just the latest in a series of deliveries that have arrived in the last 36 hours,” Hale stated.
“Yesterday: 480 anti-tank guided missiles, more than 500 M16-A4 rifles, and many mortars. Today: one thousand M16-A4 rifles,” he tweeted in the afternoon.
Soon, more mortars, grenade launchers, machine guns, and anti-tank weapons will be arriving, the ambassador said.
“Over the coming weeks, more ammunition and more heavy weaponry will be delivered from the United States to the Lebanese army,” he declared.
“Deliveries will be constant, just as our partnership with Lebanon has been constant over the years,” he continued.
“This weaponry and ordnance is paid for by the American people,” he added.
“My team and I are working very closely with the Army – on a daily basis – to ensure that we deliver exactly what the Army urgently needs,” continued Hale.
“To those who say American assistance to the Army is not sophisticated enough, my answer is: go ask a soldier in Arsal, or in Riyaq, or at the headquarters in Yarze, or at the countless other places where the army works to keep all Lebanese safe and secure. The answer you will get from that soldier is that he needs exactly what we are providing today and in the weeks to come,” Hale said.
“We are also discussing with the army how to meet additional needs, and I will have more to say about that soon,” he revealed.
On August 2, clashes broke out between the army and Islamist gunmen in Arsal over the arrest of a member of the al-Qaida-affiliated al-Nusra Front.
The fighting ended with a ceasefire on August 7.
The development prompted the U.S. to pledged to bolster the army, while Saudi Arabia unveiled a grant of one billion dollars dedicated to the military.